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Jazz Artist Interviews (709)

Get up close and personal with your favorite jazz artists!

14.05.2011

Gordon Goodwin

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Composer and arranger Gordon Goodwin certainly has an impressive resume.  A 2006 GRAMMY Award winner for his arrangement of 'Incredits' from the Pixar film The Incredibles, Gordon has also enjoyed eleven more Grammy nominations and picked up three Emmy Awards along the way.  Not only that, since 2000, Goodwin has been the driving force behind his own creation Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band and when recently I talked with him from his studio in Los Angeles I was interested to know what had been his motivation for beginning what has now evolved into a modern day big band phenomenon.
'We're Here to Listen' by pianist Leslie Pintchik is a wonderful showcase for her skills as a performer, composer and arranger.  Her talents have placed the album right up there with genres best and when recently I was fortunate enough to interview Leslie it proved to be a totally enjoyable experience.
14.05.2011

Marissa Caliguire

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Someone who has made it her mission to harness contemporary jazz for the benefit of others is Detroit based music writer, photographer and broadcaster Marissa Caliguire.  In 2010 she masterminded the charity release 'C Notes For Haiti' which featured a wonderful selection of jazz-infused R&B from the likes of Kloud 9, Darnell Kendricks, Nick Colionne and Rick Braun.  Proceeds went to aid those impacted by the disastrous quake that hit the island in January of that year and now she is back with a brand new charitable venture.  When recently I met with Marrisa at the Hard Rock Hotel in…
01.04.2011

Maysa

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Over a career spanning more than twenty years, the hugely talented Maysa has remained ahead of the curve with a sound that is both sophisticated and soulful  When recently I talked to her from her home in Baltimore, MD I was interested to learn more about the exciting ventures she already has lined up for 2011.  However, before doing so I wanted to take Maysa back to her early days in music and how she first got started.
05.03.2011

Edwin Livingston

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Born in Dallas, Texas and now happily domiciled in Los Angeles, bass player Edwin Livingston could be described as being on the crest of a wave.  His CD 'Transitions' was released in late 2010 and when recently I caught up with him in LA I first asked him about the creative process that brought the project to fruition.
The latest album from French composer and pianist Christophe DelValle is titled ‘Shared Moments’. It is an interesting collection with some compelling collaborations so when Christophe recently took time out to talk with JazzReview the first thing on the agenda was to discover the motivation that lay beneath the music.
As ‘Ultra Sheen’, the title track from his new album, reaches its conclusion, tenor saxophonist, composer, and rapper David Boykin proclaims: "I crept up in position on competition, that slept on my skills in composition, and kept on with ambition pursuing my violation, built my rep on original creation, not steeped on renditions of dated tunes, that should have been slated for demolition, a long time ago, before a wrong rhyme ago." Well folks that sounds like fighting talk! …
It could be argued that the cohesiveness that marks out super-group Fourplay from the crowd is, in part, tied to the offstage camaraderie between band members Harvey Mason, Bob James, Nathan East and Chuck Loeb. With the brand new album, ‘Let’s Touch The Sky’, this tight distinctive groove is again on display and it is interesting to ponder from where this obvious togetherness comes. According to Mason, when the group isn’t performing they are enjoying what he calls ‘Fourplay din …
29.01.2011

Anders Helmerson

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Marching to the beat of his own drum, Anders Helmerson truly exemplifies what it means to be the exception and not the rule. From music to medical school and back to music, Helmerson is a well rounded artist who allowed his creativity to take him to new heights and to ultimately create his own genre of music which he has dubbed Progressive FusionMarching to the beat of his own drum, Anders Helmerson truly exemplifies what it means to be the exception and not the rule. From music to medical school and back to music, Helmerson is a well rounded artist who allowed his creativity to…
29.01.2011

Chris Standring

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Already described as extremely cinematic, ‘Blue Bolero’ by Chris Standring has already become one of the most talked about releases of 2010. The compositions, arrangements and choice of instruments all show off a different side to his musical persona so when recently I talked to this talented guitarist from his studio in Los Angeles, I was particularly eager to ascertain how this amazing project had come about. "I started putting the album together in late 2008" Chris told me.
29.01.2011

Jessy J

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When in 2008 sax player Jessica Spinella, aka Jessy J, released her debut CD ‘Tequila Moon’ a range of factors combined to make it one of the most hyped events of the year. Produced by Paul Brown, who also provided a significant writing input, the album merged smooth jazz with Latin sensibilities in a way that had rarely been done before. A little more than a year later she was back with her sophomore effort ‘True Love’ which moved Jessy J closer yet to her Latin herita …
29.01.2011

George Anderson

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For fully thirty years Shakatak has remained at the forefront of British jazz-funk and for much of that time the band’s bass player has been George Anderson. Now, brand new for 2010, and with a few of his Shakatak friends around to lend a hand, Anderson has released his debut solo recording, the wonderful ‘Positivity’. When recently I talked to him from his home in Middlesex, England I first asked if he ever imagined that the Shakatak adventure would endure in the way that it …
29.01.2011

Tom Grant

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‘Delicioso’ by pianist Tom Grant is his twenty fourth album release. In fact ever since 1976, and his recording debut with ‘Mystified’, he has been a standard bearer for the genre of music that evolved into smooth jazz. This latest project bears testament to the fact that, much like good wine, he is getting better with age and when recently I talked to him from his studio in the Pacific north west I was eager to discover what inspires him to remain totally connected …
29.01.2011

Taj Mahal

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With two Grammy awards and a further eight nominations to his name, multi-instrumentalist Taj Mahal can truly be regarded as one of the best in blues. Indeed, ever since 1968, and the release of his self titled debut album, this legendary performer has exerted an influence that transcends genres. When recently he appeared at the Bandshell in Daytona Beach, for a performance at the American Music Festival, I was allowed exclusive backstage access to talk to him. He had just c …
29.01.2011

Attila Molnar

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It’s a long way from the renaissance splendour of Budapest to the urban intensity of Washington DC but this is the journey that writer, producer and keyboard player Attila Molnar has taken to realise his musical dream. When recently I talked with him from his Maryland recording studio the conversation ranged from living life on a new continent to his passion for making music. A shining example of what the American dream can deliver; Molnar arrived in the USA in 1997 with a whole …
29.01.2011

Bob Baldwin

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A year to the day since the untimely death of Michael Jackson, contemporary jazz writer, producer and keyboard player Bob Baldwin mounted his own tribute to the great man. Out on the Trippin' N Rhythm label, his CD ‘Never Can Say Goodbye’ is the first jazz record to pay homage to Jackson. It speaks directly to the sentiment felt by millions of fans worldwide and when recently I spoke to Bob from his home in Westchester County, NY I first asked him what had motivated him to …
29.01.2011

Steffen Kuehn

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When I was first asked to interview Steffen Kuehn, I was a bit hesitant. Fact was I had never heard of him and feared he would probably be one of those artists with a CD from which only one or two songs would be notable. However, my Editor assured me that the CD was good and I would enjoy it. Reluctantly I accepted the assignment and awaited the arrival of the CD. It was similar to the old adage; which would come first, the chicken or the egg or, in this …
29.01.2011

Rick Washbrook

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At 26 years of age, Rick Washbrook found his own voice and songs. It was 1985, and in his mid-twenties, Rick’s natural story telling ability and contemporary song writing foretold he was someone who would definitely hit the charts. Building his ever growing fan base in Ontario, Canada his fans have not forgotten his debut album, Summer Roads, and today, Washbrook is more recognized for his virtuoso guitar playing.From 1985 to 1986, four of the top songs from …
Whenever she performs on stage Esperanza Spalding is hard to miss. Her signature Afro hairstyle and big upright bass gets the attention every time and although it's not so common to see a female play bass, it is even less common when the bass is an upright. However, Esperanza Spalding would not have it any other way. "People are so used to seeing big guys play it (the upright bass) but in the environment that I grew up in there were other women playing upright bass. M …
29.01.2011

Jonathan Butler

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‘So Strong’ is a combination of things. The whole album is saying where I am and what’s going on in my life. That’s the Message - Jonathan Butler. JazzReview: Your new CD ‘So Strong’ is an amazing compilation of hope, inspiration, joy and romance. Jonathan Butler: Thank you. You said that so well. I love the way it came together. All I wanted to do was to play something that sounded good and which had this flavor be …